The company disclosed its JD Health division would secure $830 million from Hillhouse, the investment firm founded by Zhang Lei with money from Yale University through the purchase of Series B preference shares. The funds will also be used to reinforce its pharmacy supply chain.
The company’s out-performance provides more evidence that China’s economy is among the world’s fastest to recover from the pandemic, aided by strict virus control measures and a rebound in industry output and consumer sentiment.
Both JD and larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. racked up record sales during the annual “6.18” shopping extravaganza this year, as heavy discounting drew shoppers who had delayed purchases during the worst of Covid-19. Annual active customers grew 30% to 417 million, the quickest rate of expansion in more than two years.
The continued shift toward e-commerce has benefited JD, which is expanding into smaller towns and tapping on strategies like live-streaming to reach new customers and fend off growing competition from the likes of ByteDance Ltd.’s Douyin.
”Our supermarket category, including FMCG and fresh produce, became the single largest product category as revenue in the first half of 2020, surpassing mobile phone, home appliance, home computers,” Chief Financial Officer Sandy Ran Xu told analysts on a post-earnings call.